By Lisa Hurley, Editor-at-Large, LinkedInclusion.com
The prevailing narratives about Blackness in general are a.) mostly told by non-Black people, and b.) rooted in trauma. However, the Black experience is not monolithic. We are multidimensional. We do all the things. We think all the thoughts. We set all the trends. We inform all the cultures. We feel all the feelings. (So no: anger is not the only one.)
Despite what history has imposed upon us, despite all the attempts to pit us against one another, we love life; we love us; we love love. We deserve – and receive – our love at first sight, our fairytale romance, our “against all odds,” our happily ever after.
For proof, look no further than these classic Black couples that our culture celebrates: Barack and Michelle, Bey and Jay, Denzel and Pauletta, Ruby Dee and Ozzy Davis, Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade, Stedman and Oprah, and (entanglements notwithstanding) Will and Jada.
Why is the world so obsessed with this romantic partnership? Because honestly, it feels like no couple has ever been cuter, or sweeter, or more in tune. Literally. We love that they started out as friends and collaborators. We love that they consistently serve us style, fashion, slayage. We love that they both have a link to Barbados, the island of Rihanna’s birth. I personally also love that the entire population of Barbados has claimed Rock$taRi (that’s what I’m calling the baby for now, lol), and is busy crocheting booties and generally getting ready for the new arrival. We are ALL uncles, aunties, and godparents to our princess’ little bundle of joy. But these aren’t the only reasons behind our infatuation with them. Here are 3 more reasons why we love them as much as they love each other:
1. They Gave Us the Pregnancy Reveal We Didn’t Know We Needed
In the midst of this dumpster fire of a panorama, we needed some good news. And finding out about the couple’s mini-me to be is theeeee best news ever. Of course the megastars shared their story in style, with a mid-winter NYC shoot by celebrity photographer Diggzy. RiRi’s glow, and opulently jeweled baby bump, instantly became legendary.
2. Just In Time For V-Day, They Reminded Us To Never Settle
Look at this photo, y’all. It’s giving what it needs to give. It’s giving passion. Comfort. Joy. Romance. Adoration. Chemistry. Compatibility. Mutual support. Reciprocity. Vibes. Being equally yoked. Bonus points for the subtle color coordination. (So cute!!) There is no “sO WHAt aRE YOu bRINgiNg tO tHe tabLE??” energy. There is no questioning of each other’s human value or financial viability. The look and body language say it all. If your relationship does not make you feel like this, it’s time to re-assess.
3. They Also Reminded Us That In Love, There Are No Rules
Although the “why is she pregnant out of wedlock” people have raised their dusty heads, one thing is clear: The Barbadian billionaire Does. Not. Care. What. You. Think. Her IG handle is @badgalriri and she lives up to that. She has always lived life on her terms, and she will continue to do so. Happily. She has always wanted to be a mom, and she’s going to be a mom, no matter what anybody thinks of her marital status. A$AP Rocky has called RiRi the love of his life. She and her man are clearly ecstatic. The power couple does not desire or require anyone’s approval. The message to us regular folk is: do what makes YOU happy. And that goes for Valentine’s Day, and all year round.
*This article first appeared on Linked Inclusion. Want to see more? Join us!
Lisa Hurley is a writer, speaker, and activist whose work focuses on anti-racism, texturism, and destigmatizing introversion. She is also a passionate advocate for inclusion, equity, and gender equality. Lisa is the Editor-At-Large of Linked Inclusion™, co-host of Real Talk on Racism, co-host of The Introvert Sisters podcast, and a member of the Black Speakers Collection. She has been quoted in Forbes, Essence, and Fast Company, is a contributing writer for No White Saviors, and was selected as one of pocstock’s The Future of Black America Top 50 Leaders for 2022. Lisa is always interested in sharing meaningful conversations! Feel free to connect with her on social media.
Unless otherwise stated, text and images ⒸLisa Hurley/@happyhappyphoenix
Image credits in order of appearance:
© Fenty Skin, © DIGGZY | Shutterstock, © RICH FURY | Getty Images, © DIGGZY | Rex, © Shanna Allen.